Making the conscious decision to change careers is a daunting step to take, and is generally motivated by one to many factors. Perhaps you want to pursue your personal passion, or you have been head-hunted and offered a dream job within an amazing organisation. More often than not, the drive to move on is prompted by dissatisfaction from your existing job. Consider these steps to ensure you are moving for the right reasons and are taking your career in the direction it deserves.
1. Define Your Reasons
To ensure you are changing jobs or careers for the right reasons, it is essential to reflect on your motives. It may be time to take that next step if you:
- Are bored, disengaged and unchallenged
- Are not making use of your talents
- Have limited opportunities for growth or variety
- Are under extreme pressure and feel trapped
- Have no job security or sense of fulfilment
- Feel consistently stressed, isolated or unsupported
- Are unsatisfied with your salary and cannot negotiate an improvement
- Have a workload that deprives you of a ‘life’ outside work
2. Explore Your Options
Once you understand what is driving your decision, you might find that your issues can be resolved without moving. Perhaps you could ask your manager for more (or less) responsibility, request an internal transfer to learn new skills, or simply take a holiday to get the break you need. If you cannot improve your situation within the company, you should consider:
- A new position in the same industry
- The same position in a new industry
- A new position in a new industry
3. Plan Your Move
Planning your move increases the likelihood of a smooth transition. Moving to a position that is more suited to your talents and interests can be fulfilling, however you must also consider the costs. Will the change involve taking a pay cut? Being out of work for a period of time? Accepting a lesser role to begin with?
Scan job advertisements and talk to people in the industry to find out what opportunities are out there and whether your skills can transfer easily. If you have prepared for the change, made the decision for the right reasons and the benefits clearly outweigh the costs, then it is time to make your next move with confidence.